Friday, May 23, 2008

TGFN

That's a mash-up of TGIF (yay!) and TTFN (till soon!), but it also stands for "Thank Goodness for Network" and "Thank God for Nathaniel." I love to link up when I read a piece of film writing that really excites me, and Nathaniel's brilliant, witty, and gorgeously modulated take on Network is a total grabber. It deserves a hot rating in the triple digits and a 100 share.

If When I resume that long-interrupted favorites countdown, as I keep promising, I'm going to have to own up to the passage of time by reshuffling the order a bit, and dropping in some more recent fetish objects ... which also means phasing out a few of the originals. Network will be one of the titles that will have to fight for its life on that list—my most recent visit, to prep for my own write-up, dropped the film a peg or two in my esteem. But, if Network winds up in what Faye Dunaway's Diana Christensen so memorably calls "the sh*thouse," I'll leave you to wonder whether I really didn't like it enough to keep it in, or whether I just want to retire my essay because I like Nathaniel's so much better. (The only point where we disagree? So long as Long Day's Journey into Night and Dog Day Afternoon are around, Network won't ever be Lumet's best movie.)

Photo © 1976 MGM/United Artists

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5 Comments:

Blogger tim r said...

You know my thoughts on the movie Nick, but I share your preference for Nat's lovely piece over my own intemperate rant on the subject. One day I'll just have to make peace with Network as an enjoyably scabrous failure; it's certainly funny how these mad-as-hell hatchet jobs -- I'm looking at Michael Clayton again -- produce such brilliant work from great actresses in roles my friend Alex would describe as "mizzy".

Cannes-wise, I tend not to follow the coverage too closely as it makes me wildly jealous I'm not there. Still, from what I've read, I'm excited about the Cantet, Davies, Martel and Gray films, for sure. Maybe even especially the Gray. I'm wondering: what does the man have to do to get a cheer round those parts?

Shame The House of Yes is no good, I've always quite fancied it.

5:19 PM, May 25, 2008  
Blogger Nick Davis said...

Wait, does that mean you've

a) seen The House of Yes and liked it;
b) liked the play but not seen the movie;
c) not seen the movie but wanted to

My interests re: Cannes are clear, but since I only listed the main competition films, I haven't been properly avid about how much I can't wait to see the Davies.

And why James Gray can't get arrested in the U.S. (i.e., even find a distributor for Two Lovers, or avoid all the "Why the hell does this guy always make it to Cannes?" rants I've been reading Stateside for two weeks) is a giant mystery to me. Why won't more people at least watch his movies?

12:21 AM, May 26, 2008  
Blogger tim r said...

Option (c). The Bujold/Posey pairing always appealed. (More at least than the She's All That reunion going on lower down the cast list...)

Agreed on Davies, and on the Gray-as-Cannes-pariah mystery. I was astonished by how good We Own the Night was, particularly in proportion to its welcome there. It may not be my overall favourite film from last year, but, even taking into account the PTA and Haynes, you could make a good case for it being the most technically adept, right?

5:10 AM, May 26, 2008  
Blogger Nick Davis said...

Tim: You'll have guessed that the Posey/Bujold matchup, ingenious in terms of star wattage and bone structure, was also a big hook for me, but the film scuttles it in every possible way, from now knowing what to do with Bujold (and thus often losing track of her, even in a five-character movie with a single location) to having the most emptily arch and poorly delivered script since ...I shudder to think when. Give me She's All That any day over this.

As for WOTN and its technical virtues: my thoughts exactly.

8:50 AM, May 26, 2008  
Blogger NATHANIEL R said...

i really feel out of the loop having not seen ANY of Gray's films.

as for House of Yes... i remember enjoying it at the time but it was mostly a very strong Parker Posey obsession of the mid 90s.

BUT THE REAL REASON I'M COMMENTING:

I'm very uncomfortable at the use of the word "If" in this post. I realize it's crossed out but it haunts nonetheless.

just sayin'

6:49 PM, May 26, 2008  

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